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a/n: sorry for the long wait.. anyway, this chapter is kind of yulyen-centric, but i promise the next chapter would definitely focus on izone as a whole more. sorry for using unnie and maknae.. i had to do it... also, upvotes and comments are much appreciated. <3

in a place where dreams are killed and hopes are crushed lives a girl whose eyes used to burn with so much passion.

 

memories hurt more than anything in this world, this much yena can attest. though still very young and vulnerable, she knows that this is a universal fact that everyone else can agree on. knowing that you had such a wonderful time in one point of your life and that now you’re left with nothing but a mere memory of it, it just doesn’t sit well with her. she has had such a memorable teenage life, being able to fulfill her childhood dream at such a young age. who would’ve thought she would end up like this in a few years time, doing nothing but remember everything that she used to have, and everything she had lost over the past couple of years as if she’s in a sick punishment that has no end.

 

reminiscing is a pain in the , too. yena deems it as the worst disease of all. once you start doing it, you can’t and you won’t stop until you feel completely hollow inside. it’s like a monster feeding off of every regret, insecurity, and trauma you have from the past. it finds satisfaction from seeing you in pain, from seeing you cry your heart out because , you regret whatever you did more than anything in the world and yet you can’t do anything about it anymore because it’s all in the past.

 

it was one of those nights.

 

yena sighs for probably the hundredth time that day. it’s been days, weeks, months, years, and yet nothing has changed; she’s still stuck in a same old loop. she checks her bedside table to look at the time. 11:02, her clock flashes in bright red, as if reminding her that she needed to be asleep an hour ago. she pays it no mind, though.

 

"once a rebel, always a rebel," she humors herself.

 

bored out of her guts and too awake to fall back asleep, she opens the television in front of her, skimming through the channels and trying to find a show that will pique her interest. 

 

“ah, so that’s how you do it!” the lady on the screen resonates. yena quickly recognizes the person behind that voice and a smile quickly appears on her face, the first for today. “yujinnie.” she mutters under her breath with a grin.

 

it’s a rerun of a television show yujin got featured in a few years ago. seeing yujin in the television, even though it’s from seven years back, makes yena’s heart flare with pride. through the course of her career in izone, she has witnessed yujin grow up from a teenage girl with a big dream to one of the most successful idols in korea. it didn’t come as a shock for yena, though. she always knew yujin had something in her. she remembers all the sleepless nights yujin used to have whenever she had an individual schedule away from the members. yujin would spend hours everyday practicing her variety skills over and over again, even to the point where the other members would start to get annoyed.

 

yena specifically remembers yujin’s first ever guesting. they haven’t even officially debuted as a group, and to be given such a huge responsibility to be able to represent izone in the general public, yujin feels more pressured than ever.

 

“i just don’t understand.” yena reasons as she chomps on her chips, all while witnessing yujin having the biggest breakdown of her life. “you were literally a contestant in a survival show. if anyone, you should be the expert here.” 

 

“but that’s different! i’m all alone there.” yujin retorts. “and plus, i’m basically the face of our group in this show. what if i up? what if i do something that makes the general public hate on us more? we already receive so much backlash and i can’t add more to it.” the younger girl lets out a loud whine, making yena wince. 

 

silence then consumes the room. “yah, unnie! are you not going to say anything?” still receiving no reply from the older, she marches her way towards the other end of the sofa where yena was sprawled on. “what?” yena her right eyebrow at yujin. the younger heaves out a sigh and lies on top of yena, ignoring the whines of the older girl. “i’m really so scared to mess things up, unnie. i don’t know what to do.” yujin silently confesses. 

 

after a few seconds of not getting a reply yet again, yujin thinks yena might just not be in the mood to tolerate her whining. however, as if hearing her thoughts, yujin feels yena’s left arm wrap around her waist, patting her back lightly. “you’ll kick , i promise you that.”

 

later on that week, all of izone got together to watch yujin’s guesting, and they all agreed that she did well. “wow, our yujin really is a variety master!” eunbi mentions cheekily. the rest of the girls chimed in, showering yujin with much-deserved praises.

 

while watching the rest of the show, yujin looks at yena from across the room and flashes her a smile.

 

though no words were shared, yena’s heart soared knowing the meaning behind yujin’s action.

 

looking back, yena realizes that these were the moments which she held the closest to her heart. having to get along with eleven other people you previously fought with for a spot in the group, it was admittedly hard to get along with everyone at first. yena has probably lost count to how many times she’s wanted to leave izone when they were still new but decided against it because she’s finally fulfilling her dream. 

 

she was fully content with just minding her own business until the time of disbandment comes and she can finally venture on her own. however, as time went by, yena realizes that it isn’t her dream anymore that makes her look forward to practice everyday. instead, it was the people she practices and plays around with endlessly. she soon recognizes that she isn’t alone in fulfilling her dream anymore; that these people aren’t her competitors but are her friends who will help reach her long desired goal. yena and the other eleven girls are one now. they share the same dream, the same experiences, the same hardships, and the same success.

 

it was the smallest things that made yena fall in love with each of the members. it’s sakura’s smile not faltering for a week after she first brought her to a gaming center. it’s wonyoung’s hugs that help her get through the day. it’s eunbi’s pats of encouragement on her back as they practice day and night to perfect their choreography. it’s yuri’s faint laughs as she banters with yena again and again as if there’s no tomorrow.

 

yuri.

 

oh, how yena loved her.

 

yuri was yena’s rock and her refuge. in times of trouble, she was the only person yena run towards to. all days spent with yuri were probably her best ones. yuri’s warmth alone brings calmness to yena’s unresting soul. the younger has seen yena in her worst and still thought she was the best. yuri has been the best friend yena has always dreamed about having ever since she was a kid. they have been there for each other through thick and thin, and helped each other through rough patches in their lives. 

 

yena remembers when they were still at produce 48. it was the second to the last eliminations. everyone needed to have a secure spot by then to ensure that they will debut, but by the looks of it, only very few of the girls have it for sure. both of them have ranked down then, almost facing elimination. with yuri ranking 18 and yena ranking 16, both of them were very wary of the fact that there’s a huge possibility for the both of them to not be able to debut.

 

the two girls sat quietly on yena’s bunk bed that night, holding each other’s hands and trying to give each other as much comfort as they can. all the other trainees were asleep by then, exhausted by the emotional stress they’ve received prior. 

 

both of the girls were just looking at their hands intertwined. yena was rubbing yuri’s palm with her thumb, trying to comfort the girls as much as she can.

 

“yuri?” yena finally breaks the silence between them. yuri looks up, trying to properly see the emotions etched on yena’s face. it was very dark in the room, considering it is way past the scheduled lights out. yuri can’t make any sense out of yena’s expression so, to compensate, she just hums in response, urging the other girl to continue whatever she was about to say.

 

yena takes a few moments before finally speaking up again. “you’ve been doing so well, you do know that right?” yuri feels yena tightening her hold on her, all while looking straight into her eyes. “you don’t have anything more to prove. the general public will realize how much you deserve to be part of the top 12 soon.” yena smiles comfortingly. “we will make our debut together, so don't be scared, okay? just do amazing as always.”

 

they sleep together on yena’s bed t

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